Toronto, ON (April 25, 2023) — This year, the HIV Legal Network celebrates its 30th anniversary. Founded in December 1992 as the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network, the organization has spent the past three decades advocating to protect the human rights of all people living with or affected by HIV and AIDS, as well as those disproportionately affected by HIV, punitive laws and policies, and criminalization, in Canada and around the world. Now, as it embarks on its fourth decade, the organization is pleased to announce new digital projects that will help share its work with a wider audience and making materials more accessible.
Thanks to a $88,900 Resilient Communities Fund grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation in the spring of 2022, the HIV Legal Network was able to fund a Digital and Strategic Communications Officer position in 2022/23 with the goal of boosting its presence in the digital space — and re-imagining content and service delivery for a digital world. This has been critically important during the COVID pandemic, as in-person events have been largely suspended — and it expects digital spaces to remain critical to the organization in the future.
“I am thrilled to congratulate the HIV Legal Network on receiving a grant of $88,900 from the Resilient Communities Fund of the Ontario Trillium Foundation,” said Jessica Bell, MPP for University-Rosedale. “This grant has enabled the HIV Legal Network to boost their presence in digital spaces and amplify their message of human rights and social justice. As they commemorate 30 years of tireless advocacy and action, I look forward to seeing what more they can achieve.”
Since then, it has released a full season of its new podcast, Not a Crime/Pas un Crime, highlighting issues related to HIV and human rights around the world. The second season is currently in development with an anticipated release in summer 2023. The HIV Legal Network has also launched its refreshed website and will continue to develop new and improved digital products.
“In 2022, we launched our latest strategic plan, Rights Within Reach — and in order to bring that plan to life, increased presence in digital spaces is critical,” said Janet Butler-McPhee, Co-Executive Director of the HIV Legal Network. “We are so grateful for the funding to increase our digital capacity, and to imagine new ways of working and delivering on our mission in this post-COVID world.”
As the HIV Legal Network’s celebrates its 30th year and look ahead to many more years of advocacy on behalf of all people living with and affected by HIV and criminalization, it is pleased to be starting from a position of greater digital strength.
The Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF), an agency of the Government of Ontario, and one of Canada’s leading granting foundations celebrates 40 years of grant-making in Ontario and making a lasting impact in communities. Last year, OTF invested over $110M into 1,022 community projects and partnerships, which included funding for the Government of Ontario’s Community Building Fund. Visit otf.ca to learn more.
The HIV Legal Network promotes the human rights of people living with HIV or AIDS and other populations disproportionately affected by HIV, punitive laws and policies, and criminalization, in Canada and internationally. We do this through research and analysis, litigation and other advocacy, public education, and community mobilization.
Janet Butler-McPhee, Co-Executive Director
HIV Legal Network